Smile Politely

BloodRed Beats Streetfest taking place tomorrow, March 30th

From the press release:

Streetfest against violence to bring together local teen talent and activists, Restoration Urban Ministries, and Congolese musician Jean-René Balekita. 

When it came time for New Covenant Fellowship to start planning its typically quiet, meditative Good Friday service, pastor Renée Antrosio said she couldn’t shake her sense that this year’s observation of Good Friday needed to be different.

“I didn’t know exactly what it would look like, but I felt driven to organize something that was out in the streets, not behind the walls of our church building,” Antrosio said. “And I wanted it to be an opportunity for our community to stand together against violence.”

After sharing this basic vision with other members of the New Covenant Fellowship (NCF) community and collaborators like Restoration Urban Ministries, plans for BloodRed Beats quickly took shape.

“I see the streetfest as a place for many different members of our community to find common ground for peace—a place where the lines between the sacred and the secular are blurred,” Antrosio said.

The event, open to all, will take place from 4-7 pm on Friday, March 30, on the street in front of the church, 124 W. White St. (or, if weather is inclement, inside the building). In addition to a stage featuring live music by local acts, including Congolese music by headliner Jean-René Balekita a5:45 pm, there will be a mobile blood drive, interactive art and social justice stations, and a brief Good Friday reflection (6:30-7:00 pm). The food truck Cool Bliss Popped Bliss will be on site.

“It’s easy to just think of Good Friday as an inevitable day on the journey to Easter,” said Antrosio, “but in many ways, Good Friday is about violence. It’s about the unholy alliance between the government and the religious establishment, meant to silence voices that question or contradict the status quo.”

“Jesus was a victim of violence; in submitting to torture and execution he identified first and foremost with victims. As we mourn the violence in our society, Jesus’ death is a perfect time to identify with victims of violence everywhere,” Antrosio added.

To sign up to give blood at the streetfest, go to and click “schedule now,” using the Group Sponsor Code 71019. For more information about the event, see the NCF Facebook page: New Covenant Fellowship C-U, or to interview Pastor Antrosio, contact her ([email protected]).

Executive Editor

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